Spike's & Jamie's Recipe Collection & a Whole Lot More!

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 336

How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).


































































Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (10-ounce) can chunk chicken breast, drained and flaked

1 (11-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

1 (6-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 (12-ounce) bag egg noodles, cooked accordingly to package directions

Cook onion in oil in large skillet over medium heat, until tender. Dump in chicken and stir. Cook for one minute. Stir in soup and mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream over low heat. Heat through and serve over cooked noodles.


1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1-1/2 cups sifted flour

2/3 cup sugar

2-1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup uncooked oats

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup melted shortening

1 cup mashed ripe banana

1 cup chopped nuts

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of flour over the blueberries. Sift remaining flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in oats. Blend eggs, shortening and banana. Combine with dry ingredients. Stir in nuts. Fold in blueberries. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour. Let cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool before slicing. Freeze in individual zip lock baggies.


1/4 cup of dry red wine

1/4 cup of red wine vinegar

1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

4 1/2" thick pork chops

Mix first seven ingredients in a glass bowl/dish. Add pork chops, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Remove from marinade and grill on indirect heat for 5 minutes on each side, brushing with reserved marinade.

Do not serve used marinade as a sauce without boiling it for 5 minutes.

It will have bacteria in it from the raw meat.


Serves 12

1/4 cup shortening

1 ounce semisweet chocolate

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Melt shortening and chocolate together in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add maple syrup, vanilla, sugar and beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt, then add nuts. Add this to first mixture. Pour into a shallow pan which has been lined with well-greased wax paper. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until done. Cool and cut into 12 pieces.


2 cans whole kernel corn

1/4 cup milk

1/2 stick butter

8 oz cream cheese

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Leave cream cheese and butter out for about 30 minutes to soften, mix corn, milk, butter, cream cheese and 1-1/2 cup of the cheddar together. Bake in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes more. You will like this, it is really good.


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup molasses

1 egg

2-1/2 cups sifted flour

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup hot water

Cream butter. Add sugar and molasses. Beat until light. Add egg and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and use a small amount to coat berries. Add remainder alternately with hot water to first mixture, beating until smooth. Fold in floured blueberries. Bake in greased and floured 13x9x3 inch pan at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. May take a little longer with frozen berries. Serve hot or cold with blueberry sauce . Makes 9 servings.


6 servings

2 cans (5 ounces each) chunk lean ham, drained

2 cans (15 ounces each) barbecue baked beans

1/2 (16-ounce) jar chunky salsa

1 1/2 cups baked tortilla chips

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dump the ham, beans and salsa into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Smother with the chips, cheese and oregano. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese melts and the casserole is heated through.


for picnic or trail

In a Zip-Lock style bag, place 4 quartered ripe, pitted, unpeeled peaches and 4 tbsp. of unsalted butter.

In a film container or other like-sized container, combine 6 tbsp. of sugar with 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spices.

You'll also need to pack 1 cup brandy (more if you intend to sip some.)

In a nonstick pan, melt the butter until bubbly. Add the pitted peaches, sugar and spice and sautÚ for about 5 minutes. Add brandy and flame. Simmer 1 minute. Serves four. An old Fairbanks, Alaska recipe.


makes about 1 1/2 dozen

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg, beaten until frothy

2/3 cup sugar

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons melted butter

Oil or shortening for deep fat frying

Confectioners' or granulated sugar to sprinkle over doughnuts

Combine the buttermilk, egg, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, then mix in. Stir in the melted butter. Turn dough out on a floured pastry cloth, pat into a ball, and roll around on cloth so dough is lightly floured all over. Roll out with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut with a floured 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter, then fry doughnuts and "holes" in deep hot fat (375) about 3 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Re-roll scraps, cut, and fry. Drain doughnuts on heavy paper and, while still hot, sprinkle with sugar.


1 cup flour

1 cup oats

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 beaten egg

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup blueberries

Mix together all dry ingredients. Add buttermilk, egg and oil. Mix thoroughly. Fold in blueberries. Fill greased (or cooking sprayed) muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees.


Serves 2

For the Caipirinha:

3 limes, scrubbed, cut in sixths

2 teaspoons granulated or superfine sugar, or to taste

1/4 cup rum, preferably cahaša, but any type rum may be used

For the shrimp:

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for grill

About 1 pound medium to large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Finely chopped mint or cilantro (optional)

Preheat grill or broiler or grill pan over medium heat.

To prepare Caipirinha: Cut each lime into 6 wedges. Place 2 limes (12 wedges) and sugar in a shaker or a mortar and, using the end of a wooden spoon or a pestle, muddle or mash until the lime pulp begins to come away from the rind and the sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and shake or stir to combine.

To prepare shrimp: Pour Caipirinha mixture, including rinds, into a shallow bowl. Add garlic, oil and shrimp and stir to combine. Set aside for no more than 5 to 7 minutes. (If set aside for too long, the acid in the lime juice will start to cook the shrimp.)

Drain shrimp, discarding the marinade. If desired, skewer the shrimp. Lightly oil grill rack or grill pan and grill the shrimp, turning as necessary, just until pink and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on size.

If desired, sprinkle with mint or cilantro and serve immediately with remaining lime wedges on the side.


Makes about 12 servings

2 1/2 cups sifted stone-ground unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup light molasses

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

Sift together the flour, soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, mace, allspice, and cloves. Stir in caraway seeds and set aside. Cream the butter until light, add brown sugar, and continue creaming until fluffy. Mix in the molasses and 1/2 cup of the flour mixture. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the remaining flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour and beating well after each addition. Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 9 x2-inch baking pan and bake in a moderate oven (350) 35 to 40 minutes or until gingerbread begins to pull from sides of pan and top seems springy to the touch. Cut into large squares (about 3 inches) and serve. Good hot or cold.


Fuel fuels great griller controversy: CHARCOAL or GAS?

August 28, 2002 Posted: 06:10:08 AM PDT


Labor Day weekend looms large on the cookout calendar, so ... let's get ready to r-r-r-r-u-u-m-m-ble!

This weekend is this summer's last chance to sound off on the great debate: Gas or charcoal? It's a burning issue: Which is the superior method for grilling?

One argument goes: "Grilling is all about charcoal; gas is merely 'barbecue light.'"

The other side counters: "Gas is cleaner, quicker, cooks more evenly and you don't taste lighter fluid."

But when all the shouting dies down, can a case be made for the superiority of one method over the other? In a word, no.

It has been 17 years since gas grills were introduced. About six in 10 grills in the United States now are propane powered.

Generally, those who prefer gas cite convenience. Gas grills are ready to use moments after being turned on. They have an even, controllable heat and are far less messy to clean up.

But those who opt for the older grilling method insist charcoal gives food a better flavor; that building a charcoal fire has an appealing, primitive mystique; and that charcoal grills are far less expensive to purchase than gas units.

Charcoal fans contend they are the only true grillers. They also tend to be more passionate about their preference. Listen, for example, to Gina Freize: "Must we forgo quality for convenience in every aspect of life? I say no! The flavor and fun of charcoal just can't be beat."

Or Dean Cunningham: "There is no other way to grill than charcoal. The folks who choose an alternate method are just looking for speed, not good taste."

Gas: 'More convenient'

On the other hand, Jack Pritchard, a convert to the gas camp, stuck to facts and logic:

"For over 40 years I refused to get a gas grill. But a couple of years ago, as a matter of convenience, I got one and found the food tastes every bit as good and it's even more convenient than I had hoped. Here's why:

"No more dealing with ashes; no more half-hour waits for the coals to heat up; no more long waits to put the grill away when I'm done; no special setups to grill 'indirect' rather than 'direct'; no more flare-ups because the wind came up when you weren't looking."

Jeanie Moore put it more tersely: "Gas grills rock! Not only is gas grilling efficient, fast and effortless -- the convenience is unbeatable. The only thing easier is takeout."

Wisdom of Solomon

Betty Hughes, spokeswoman for Weber-Stephen Products Inc., the leading maker of both charcoal and gas grills, is reluctant to take sides. The choice, she says, "is largely a matter of lifestyle. Charcoal is better for some people, gas for others."

She did supply information, though, that may irk true believers in both camps:

"Charcoal, itself, does not add flavor to meat. Flavor comes from juices (the meat's own and any marinade put on it) and from smoke caused by juice dripping on hot coals. Flavorizer bars accomplish the same thing in gas grills. Pure hardwood charcoals, especially hickory, can add a noticeable taste to meat that many people like."

"(As a Weber employee) I have always had access to both charcoal and gas grills for my personal use. When gas grills first came out, I thought I'd never switch from charcoal. But I started using them occasionally, mainly so I could talk about them intelligently. I had a period where I would use charcoal one time, gas the next. But after a while I concluded there was no taste difference, and gas was more convenient. Now I use gas exclusively."

What happens when people taste both types of grilling side by side? A blind tasting of hamburgers was conducted tis summer in Chicago. Tasters concluded that there was no significant difference in taste between the two grilling methods.

Splitting hairs

Which should you choose? Gas offers convenience, and it is slightly less expensive than charcoal per use.

On the negative side, a gas grill is more costly to buy (charcoal grills range from $40 to $100; gas grills start around $130 and go up to the stratosphere); most burn propane, which means trips to stores with bulky canisters for refills.

Charcoal's good points include the earthy appeal of building a fire; lower purchase price for the grill; and greater availability of fuel. Drawbacks include the mess of dealing with charcoal; difficulty in controlling heat; and ashes to clean up.

Ask yourself which are most important to you. If your choice is still not clear, you still have two options:

Buy one of each.

Buy neither. Cook in the kitchen and walk the food out to the back yard.



4 servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

4 chicken breast halves (4 ounces each), boneless, skinless

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups 1/2-inch cubed yellow squash

1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubed zucchini

1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons honey mustard

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook 4 minutes on each side; remove from the skillet and keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cubed squash and zucchini to the skillet and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Return the chicken to the pan.

In a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, chives, lemon rind, lemon juice, cornstarch and honey mustard. Pour the broth mixture over the chicken and vegetables in the skillet. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 3 minutes.



"Hot Stuff" From The Vanilla Queen

This sauce is excellent as a marinade or glaze for slow-cooked pork, ribs, beef or grilled chicken. It will also enliven a pot of beans and can even give kick to tofu!

Adjust the heat by adding more or less chipotle.

4-8 medium chipotle chilies in adobo (1/4-1/2 cup)*

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into small pieces or mashed

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup honey

1/4 1/2 cup water or broth, depending on thickness desired in sauce as well as

desired heat

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, or to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Place chipotle chilies along with sauce clinging to peppers in a food processor. Add balance of ingredients and puree until smooth. Sieve puree through a mesh sieve to remove seeds and fiber. Taste and adjust sweetness, heat, and lime juice to taste.

Makes approximately 1-1/2 cups of sauce. Can be refrigerated for up to a week.

*Found, canned, in all Mexican groceries and many supermarkets.


1 serving

1 1/2 ounces Malibu rum

1/2 cup coconut sorbet or gelato

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce coconut milk (see note)

1 ounce pineapple juice

1/2 cup crushed ice

1 pineapple wedge and ground nutmeg, for garnish

In blender, combine rum, sorbet, lime juice, coconut milk, pineapple juice and ice. Blend until well-combined and smooth.

Pour mixture into chilled glass. Place pineapple wedge on rim of glass, dust top of drink with nutmeg and serve.

Note: Coconut milk is sold in cans. Look in the Asian section of supermarkets. The Thai Kitchen brand is reliable.


4 cups Bread -- French or Sourdough, cubed

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Garlic -- minced

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon Rosemary sprigs -- fresh, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread cubes in bowl. Mix oil, garlic, salt, and rosemary, then sprinkle over cubes, and toss. Put seasoned bread cubes on a baking sheet prepared with non-stick cooking spray. Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, and store in air-tight tin or bag.


Serves 10

2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

5-6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided use

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound red seedless grapes

5 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cornmeal for sprinkling on baking pan

Olive oil for brushing on dough

Pour warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon of the flour over the water. Stir to dissolve, and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, place oil, salt, 1 cup of flour and yeast mixture. Whisk hard until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft, sticky dough that just clears the side of the bowl is formed.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and vigorously knead about 3 minutes to form a springy ball, dusting with only 1 tablespoon of flour at a time as needed to prevent sticking. Form dough into a flattened ball.

Let dough rise until tripled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Grease a 17-by-11-inch baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place dough ball on a lightly floured work surface. Use heel of your hand to press and flatten dough. Lift and gently pull dough until it is the size of the baking sheet. Place dough on sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees if using a conventional oven. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Press grapes into surface at regular intervals. Brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar mixture (hold off on sugar until the last 5 or 10 minutes if baking in wood-fired oven). Bake 35-40 minutes in a conventional oven, or until golden brown. For a wood-fired oven, start checking focaccia after about 20 minutes.


serves 12


25 graham crackers, crumbled

1 stick butter, melted

3 tablespoons sugar


1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (4-ounce) package lemon Jell-O

1 cup hot water

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place can of milk in freezer for 1 1/2 hours.

Combine crust ingredients in a bowl. Press into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Mix Jell-O into hot water. Let set in refrigerator but not harden. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside. Beat milk until fluffy, add Jell-O and blend in cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour over graham cracker crust. Set for 5 hours or overnight.


6 servings

3/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt

4 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/4- to 1/8-inch slices

1 green bell pepper, sliced thin

1 red onion, sliced thin

In small saucepan, combine first 6 ingredients. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute.

Layer sliced vegetables in glass dish. Pour hot liquid over vegetables. Chill and serve.


Serves 12


14 ounces canned wax beans

14 ounces canned green beans

14 ounces canned lima beans

14 ounces canned kidney beans

1 chopped green bell pepper

1 chopped red onion

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped, or dried

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine four types of beans, green pepper and red onion in medium size glass or Pyrex bowl. Blend together HONEY, vinegar and seasonings and pour over vegetables. Cover and marinate 8 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Keeps well for several days.


Makes 8 servings


My garnish for this summer version of minestrone is an all-too-short-lived delicacy: female zucchini blossoms -- the sweetest, most succulent vegetable you can imagine. If you grow your own zucchini, the females are the blossoms from which the zucchini grows. These blossoms have a thick, fleshy inner stalk and won't last much longer than a day or two after picking. The male blossoms, which grow along the stalk of the plant, don't produce fruits. These are also good, though to my taste, not nearly as desirable as the females. Serve this soup as they do in the summer in Milan, at cool room temperature. -- Aliza Green

Pesto alla Genovese:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

10 to 12 cloves fresh young garlic, peeled

1/4 pound pine nuts (1 cup)

1 large bunch basil, stemmed


1 pound shelled fresh cranberry beans

1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled and seeded (see note)

2 leeks, sliced and washed

8 cups chicken stock or broth

1/2 pound fresh romano beans, diagonally sliced, or one 10-ounce package

frozen beans

1/2 pound yellow squash, sliced into half moons

1/2 pound small zucchini, sliced into half moons

1/2 pound ditalini or short-cut penne pasta

12 female zucchini blossoms, for garnish (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup grated romano cheese

To make pesto: Place the olive oil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and process to a paste. A handful at a time, add the basil leaves and process again until a bright green paste forms. Set aside.

To make soup: In a large soup pot combine the cranberry beans, tomatoes, leeks and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the beans are almost tender. Skim off any white foam that rises to the surface. Add the romano beans, yellow squash, zucchini and ditalini and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through and the romano beans are tender.

Just before serving stir in the zucchini blossoms, then remove the pot from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup among serving bowls. Top each with a generous spoonful of the pesto. Combine the grated Parmigiano and romano cheeses in a small bowl and serve with the soup.

Note: To peel tomatoes, plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water. Skins should slip off easily. -- From "The Bean Bible" by Aliza Green


Makes 32 bites

1 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent roll dough

2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened, cut in half

2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

11/3 cups dry bread crumbs

1 1.25-ounce package taco seasoning mix


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease baking sheet.

Separate dough into four 3-by-6-inch rectangles on cutting board; press seams closed. Spread half block cream cheese onto each rectangle; top each rectangle with half can chilies. Fold rectangles in half lengthwise; cut each into 8 pieces.

Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Combine bread crumbs and seasoning mix in shallow dish. Dip each bite into milk mixture; roll in breadcrumb mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with salsa. -- Dallas Cole, Wilsonville finalist, Ortega "Create a Fiesta, Win a Siesta" recipe contest


Serves 6

8 fresh ears of corn

Vegetable oil for brushing

Chili Butter:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas or electric grill on high.

Pull back the husk from each ear of corn without actually removing it. Remove the silk, then re-cover the corn with the husk. Run water into the ears of corn, drain the excess, and twist the husks at the top to close.

To make the chili butter, combine the ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl, and set aside.

When ready to grill, brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Put the corn directly over the hot fire. Grill for about 20 minutes, turning several times to grill all sides.

Remove from the grill and pull back and discard the husks, or knot them for that oh-so-rustic-chic look. Generously brush the corn with the chili butter. Serve hot.



Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds shrimp

1/4 pound thinly sliced, di Parma Prosciutto

Olive oil

1/2 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs, mix with parsley

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Salt, to taste

Lemon wedge

4 skewers

Preheat the grill or the barbecue. Shell and de-vein the shrimp. Cut the Prosciutto slices into 1-inch wide and 2-1/2-inches long strips, roll around the shrimp. Thread the shrimp onto 4 long metal skewers, brush with olive oil. Sprinkle them lightly with the breadcrumb/parsley mixture.

Place skewers on the hot grill and season lightly with salt. Cook about 2 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are lightly golden and opaque all the way through. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Note: If you divide the portions in half you may serve this as an appetizer.

Source: Prosciutto Di Parma/Biba Caggiano


by Brenda Hyde

Herbs and bread are such a natural combination, whether savory or sweet. You can take a nice basic wheat or white bread recipe and add a tablespoon of mixed dried or fresh, minced herbs to the dry ingredients. Try using basil, thyme, sage and oregano. I also like to add a little bit of sugar and some Parmesan cheese to the basic recipe. You can add herbs to pizza dough-even the simple box mixes come alive if you add herbs and a touch of sugar and cheese! Try adding minced herbs to a plain scone recipe, or throw in some chopped chives and oregano into your cornbread mix.

Herbs can be used with sweet breads as well. Add fresh lavender blooms or a few finely minced lavender leaves to your favorite sweet breads, such as Sally Lunn. You can also add any of the lemon herbs to bread, cake and cookie recipes-simply mix and add to the dry ingredients.

Here are a few easy recipes to try:

Easy Herb Pizza

4 boxes or envelopes of pizza crust mix (Jiffy or Martha White)

One teaspoonful of mixed dried herbs-basil, oregano or rosemary

About 2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese

Dash garlic powder

Pizza Sauce and toppings

Mix the dough according to box directions but BEFORE adding liquid mix in the herbs, garlic and cheese. Mix and form into a loose ball with your hands that you've coated in Olive Oil. Let it rest 5-10 minutes. Press into two 12 inch pizza pans-half for each one. Top with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake at 450 degrees until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Herbed Croutons

Day old homemade or bakery bread

Olive Oil

minced fresh herbs of your choice

For every 2-3 cups of cubed bread, drizzle olive oil over the cubes and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of minced herbs (or 1 tablespoon dried) on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees, stirring and watching often, about every 5 minutes until crispy. Use in salads and soups.

Easy Focaccia

Premade pizza crust

Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese

Fresh, minced herbs

Preheat oven according to crust directions. Drizzle the crust with olive oil, sprinkle with a tablespoon of minced herbs. Rosemary also works well by itself but use sparingly! Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake. This can be used with a meal, or as a snack.

These are easy, easy recipes to start you on your way to using herbs with bread, but be sure to try your own combinations and experiment with your favorite recipes!


Steve Essley's


1 bottle catsup

1 bottle water

1/2 bottle Worcestershire sauce

1/2 bottle Heinz 57 sauce

1/2 bottle Tabasco sauce

1 large grated onion

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. pepper

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Mix all together and simmer about 30 minutes.


4 1/2 cups Flour -- (4 1/2 to 5 cups)

1/4 cup Sugar

2 teaspoons Salt

1 1/2 tablespoons Minced Onion -- instant

2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast -- or Fast Acting

3/4 cup Milk

1/2 cup Water

3 tablespoons Butter or Margarine

3 Eggs -- at room temperature

Instant Minced Onion or Sesame Seed

In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, minced onion and undissolved yeast. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm, 120o to 130oF. Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. (With Fast Acting yeast, cover kneaded dough and let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.) Punch dough down. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Form into smooth balls. Place on 2 greased baking sheets. Flatten balls with hand to 4-inch rounds; cover. Place 2 large shallow pans on counter; half-fill with boiling water. Place baking sheets over pans. Let rise until doubled in size, about 15 to 20 minutes. Lightly beat remaining egg; brush on rolls. Sprinkle with instant

minced onion or sesame seed. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes or

until done. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.


Serves 4

2 teaspoons each: ground coriander, cumin

1 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 onions, sliced, about 2 cups

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 piece (1 inch) ginger root, peeled, minced

1 fresh green serrano pepper, minced

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon ghee or butter

1/2 cup raw cashew halves (see Note)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup minced cilantro

Combine coriander, cumin, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and all turmeric in a large bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and serrano pepper; cook 1 minute. Add chicken and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of coconut milk and water. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

Heat ghee or butter in skillet over medium heat. Add cashews. Cook, stirring constantly, until cashews are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add remaining coconut milk to chicken mixture and return to a simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with cashews and cilantro.

Note: Roasted cashews can be substituted for raw.


Serves 8

4 pounds chicken pieces, trimmed

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/2 cup light soy sauce

4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

1 teaspoon chili powder

5 scallions, very finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

1 pound dried egg noodles

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)

Put chicken into an ovenproof dish, add sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, chili powder, scallions and black pepper to taste. Mix well, cover, and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover chicken and bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 275 degrees and cook 40 minutes more. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, then serve chicken and noodles, sprinkled with sesame seeds, if using.


1 garlic clove

3-4 ripe tomatoes, quartered

1/2 green pepper, cut into chunks

1/2 small onion, cut into chunks

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup iced water

Blend all the ingredients a very short time. Do not pulverize; leave some chunks of vegetables. Refrigerate before serving.


" 'Best I ever ate,' is what Abraham Lincoln had to say about this velvet crumbed white cake made with finely grated blanched almonds. No small praise,

considering Lincoln's unconcern for food. It is a recipe Mary Todd's family

obtained from a Lexington, Kentucky, caterer named Giron, who had created the recipe in 1825 on the occasion of Lafayette's visit to Lexington. Mary served the cake often during the Lincoln's Illinois days and later at the White House. In those days, the almonds would have been painstakingly grated by hand, one at a time. They can be done in a trice today in an electric blender or better still, with one of the small rotary hand graters, which gives the grated nuts a fluffiness akin to that of flour. One can only wonder what Mary Todd Lincoln's reaction to such modern gadgets would be."

Makes a 9-inch tube cake

1/4 pound blanched whole almonds (about)

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

12 pound unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla 12 teaspoon almond extract

6 egg whites

pinch of salt

Grate enough of the almonds in a rotary hand grater to total 1 cup exactly (do not pack the nuts in the measure) or grate them, a few at a time, in an electric blender at high speed; set nuts aside. Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside. Cream the butter until very light, then add 13/4 cups of the sugar gradually, creaming all the while until fluffy. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fold gently but thoroughly into the batter. Pour into a well-buttered and floured 9-inch tube pan and bake in a moderate oven (350) about an hour or until cake begins to pull from sides of pan and a finger, pressed lightly into the top of the cake, leaves an imprint that vanishes slowly. Cool cake upright in its pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, then loosen cake around edges of pan with a spatula and turn out on a rack. Cool thoroughly before cutting. The cake is a rich one--rather like a

white pound cake--and needs no frosting."


Makes 5 servings

2 cans (15 ounces each) low-fat turkey chili with beans

1 (12-ounce) can beer

1 (4-ounce) jar chopped mild green chilies

5 reduced-fat refrigerator biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dump chili, beer and chilies into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Top with the biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


Serves 6

1 pound fingerling potatoes

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 cup sliced small zucchini, blanched (see note)

1/2 cup sliced small yellow (summer) squash, blanched (see note)

1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched if desired (see note)

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped red onion

chopped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)


2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or one teaspoon dried tarragon,crumbled

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar, add the mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Add the tarragon and gradually whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion.

Cut the fingerlings in half lengthwise and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil gently until done, about 10 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, but do not peel. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle the potatoes with the vinegar while still warm. After the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, add the zucchini, yellow squash, sugar snap peas, bell pepper and onion.

Pour the dressing over the mixture, then toss gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle with the chives, if desired. Serve immediately, as the vegetables tend to discolor if refrigerated.

Note: To blanch the vegetables, fill a large bowl or pan with cold water and some ice cubes. Fill a saucepan three-fourths full with water and bring to a rolling boil. Drop in the vegetables and boil for 1 minute. Drain and immediately immerse the vegetables in the ice water. When cold, drain and pat dry.


On a large fig leaf on a plate, a wedge of peeled watermelon with a slice of coconut on top is placed at the base of the composition. Next, slices of other large fruit (pineapple, peeled cantaloupe, banana, plum, orange, papaya, pear and apple) are arranged in an interesting balance of colors and shapes. Small fruits (raspberries, halved strawberries, coconut slices, figs, green and purple grapes) fill in the spaces. Two slices of nut bread are tucked in at upper edge. A large scoop of ice cream sherbet or cottage cheese and an orchid finish this colorful arrangement. makes 3 cups of sauce

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup hot water

2/3 cup light corn syrup

2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Combine sugar, hot water and corn syrup. Heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Then boil, without stirring, to firm ball stage (244 to 248 degrees on candy thermometer).

Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Slowly add hot syrup, beating at high speed until thick and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Gently fold in mayonnaise and orange rind. If thicker than desired, fold in 1 or 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or 1 or 2 teaspoons water. Keep refrigerated until served.


makes 16 slices

1 cup ground orange peel

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/4 cups unsifted flour

1 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2/3 cup milk

3 tablespoons oil

2 eggs, unbeaten

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 drops each almond and lemon extract

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons sugar

In advance, grind or chop in food processor enough orange rind (about 2 to 3 medium oranges) to measure 1 cup. Add water and the 2 tablespoons sugar, heat to boiling then cover and cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes, until rind is tender and practically all the water is absorbed. Cool.

Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Add milk, oil, eggs and flavorings. beat at low speed just until well-mixed.

Mix in cooled orange peel and walnuts. Pour batter into greased 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan and sprinkle top with mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes until well-browned and done when tested.

Remove from pan and cool on rack.


4 cups berries, pears, apples, or peaches

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

Prepare fruit as you would for any other cobbler and set aside. Melt butter or margarine in same pan as cobbler will be cooked in. In a separate bowl, Mix the milk, flour and sugar. Pour onto the butter or margarine being certain to maintain the butter or margarine around the sides of the dish. Pour fruit on top of the flour mixture and shortening. Bake until crust is cooked (about 30-45 minutes, depending on whether cooked in deep or shallow pan) at 350 degrees. Great topped with ice cream, frozen yogurt, whipped topping or grated cheese (for apples and pears).


Makes 4 appetizer servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

4 medium ripe peaches, peeled and quartered (see note)

8 thin slices prosciutto di Parma (about 4 ounces)

Optional garnish: mint leaves, lime slices

In a cup, combine oil, lime juice and white pepper. On 4 plates, arrange peaches and prosciutto di Parma. Drizzle with dressing. Garnish with mint leaves and lime slices, if desired.

Note: To peel peaches, submerge them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds and then in cold water for 20 seconds. Skin should slip off easily.


You may want to sprinkle these burgers lightly with garlic salt while they are on the grill. serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (about 80 percent lean)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Buns and desired toppings

Break up chuck and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss lightly with hands to distribute. Divide meat into four equal portions.

With cupped hands, toss one portion back and forth to form a loose ball. Pat lightly to flatten meat into 3/4-inch burger that measures about 4 1/2 inches across. Press center of patty down with fingertips until about 1/2-inch thick, creating a well in center of patty. Repeat with remaining portions of meat.

Grill burgers, uncovered and without pressing down on them, until well seared on the first side, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip burgers with a wide metal spatula. Continue grilling to desired doneness: about 2 minutes for rare, 2 1/2 minutes for medium-rare, 3 minutes for medium or 4 minutes for well-done. Serve immediately.


Makes 4 individual pizzas


1 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast

2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed

1 cup semolina flour

2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1 to 1 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

Combine yeast, flours and salt in container of a food processor. Turn machine on; add 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons oil through feed tube. Process about 30 seconds, adding more water a little at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky. If dough is dry, add 1-2 tablespoons water and process another 10 seconds.

Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Grease a bowl with remaining oil and place dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or damp cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough doubles in size, 1-2 hours. Or you can let dough rise for 6-8 hours in the refrigerator.

If using a conventional oven, preheat to 500 degrees. Knead each dough ball lightly and divide into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little more flour and cover again with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let dough rest 20 minutes. Then roll or press each dough ball into a flat round, flouring work surface and the dough as needed. Roll or pat out dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or baking sheet. Add sauce, toppings and cheese (see accompanying recipes).

Slip pizzas off peel onto floor of wood-fired oven and bake about 3 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Or, in a conventional oven, bake about 10 minutes, a bit longer for pizzas with numerous toppings.


4 one inch thick butterfly pork chops (trim the fat off)

1 1/2 cups of beef broth (heated)

2 tbsp. rosemary (crushed)

1/2 lb. of fresh mushrooms (sliced lengthwise)

Pepper to taste

Make 4 pockets of aluminum foil (double thickness is good) and lay one chop on each. Add rosemary to broth and let steep for about 10 minutes. Spoon 3 tablespoons of broth over the pork chop and layer sliced mushrooms on top. Add pepper, close foil pocket so that there is enough room for steam but make sure it is tightly sealed. Put on top shelf of BBQ and cook for 1.5 hours.


Pick the right potato for salad. Red Bliss, Yukon Gold, White Eastern (sometimes called all-purpose white) California White or Fingerlings are all good choices for potato salad. They remain firm enough to cut into slices or cubes after being cooked. The baking potatoes, such as Russets or Idaho's, tend to be too fluffy when cooked. Potato salads work best with low or medium starch potatoes.

It is preferable not to peel potatoes before cooking for salad. The skin retains the shape and the nutrients. If you do peel them before cooking, put them in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.

Peeling the potatoes after cooking is a matter of choice. Some people prefer the texture and color contrast of the skin, others find the skin unappealing aesthetically.

Cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. If you select potatoes of the same size, they will cook uniformly. To test for doneness, pierce with the tip of a knife, as using a fork lets too much water into the potato.

If you wish to cook and peel them a day ahead, drain the potatoes, peel them as soon as they are cool enough to handle, cut them into the desired shape and put them in a colander. Pour one cup of white vinegar over the cut-up potatoes, shake gently to drain, and refrigerate them in a covered container.

Visit www.barbaralauterbach.com for more on Barbara and her book.



Serves 4

Oil for rack

5 tablespoons butter, softened, divided use

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), giblets removed

1 lemon, halved

Salt and pepper

Fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish

Oil rack.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and set aside. Combine remaining butter, garlic and rosemary in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth.

Gently loosen skin covering chicken breast. Work seasoned butter under skin so mixture covers the breast meat. Squeeze half of lemon over chicken and squeeze other half inside the cavity. Brush chicken with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Place chicken on rack in baking pan. Tent with foil. Roast in hot wood-fired oven about 40 minutes, occasionally rotating pan to make sure all sides are exposed to heat. (Alternately, roast about 1 hour in a 375-degree oven) Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 to 170 degrees.


Fresh rosemary makes the big difference in this salad. Although the growing season for the fragrant herb is short in New Hampshire, I bring a pot indoors at the first frost, and enjoy its pungent aroma - and this salad - all winter long. Serve this salad as a delicious accompaniment to grilled fish or roast pork.

Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds red or brown all-purpose potatoes

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Fresh rosemary sprig for garnish


1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or high-quality purchased

1 1/2 teaspoons thawed orange juice concentrate

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

To make the dressing, in a bowl, combine all the ingredients, mix well, and let stand for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, and cook until tender when pierced with a knife. [] Barbara says that piercing them with a fork lets in too much water, which is why she recommends using a knife for that task. [] When cool enough to handle, peel, cut into 1/4- inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the vinegar, season with salt and pepper and let cool.

When the potatoes are at room temperature, add the dressing and toss to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve chilled. Before serving, garnish with rosemary sprigs.

From "Potato Salad -50 Favorite Recipes" by Barbara Lauterbach, Chronicle Books, 2002.


Salsiccie con Fagioli all'Uccelletto

Makes 4 servings

2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed, or 5 to 6

cups fresh

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)

1 pound fresh Italian pork sausages, chopped

1 cup strained tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 sprig of fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage

Salt and pepper

Sage leaves, for garnish

Place the dried beans in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are tender, skimming off the scum as needed.

Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid.

Heat 1/3 cup of the oil in a flameproof casserole or heavy-based saucepan. Add the sausages and cook over medium heat until brown on all sides. Add the tomatoes, garlic, sage, salt and pepper to taste, and stir well to mix. Bring to a boil, then add the beans and a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes -- the consistency should be quite thick. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Just before serving, drizzle the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil over the dish and garnish with sage leaves. Adapted from "The Bean Book," published by The Lyons Press







Makes 4 servings

1 carrot, peeled, split lengthwise and cut in chunks

1 small yellow onion, quartered

1 bay leaf

11/2 pounds fresh cranberry beans or other fresh shell beans, shelled (to make

about 2 cups)

Sea salt

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups finely shredded endive, frisee, radicchio or other chicory, or a mixture

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves

Coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup shaved romano cheese

Place carrot, onion and bay leaf in a saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Add beans to pan with enough water barely to cover them. Simmer about 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, add salt to taste, and allow to cool.

Drain beans; discard carrot, onion and bay leaf. Place beans in a serving bowl. Add oil and more salt, if needed. Gently stir. Fold in endive or other greens, and parsley. Season with pepper.

Distribute among four salad plates and top each portion with shavings of cheese. Serve. -- From Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe, San Francisco



By Kristin Eddy

Chicago Tribune

FORT COCHIN, India - The palm trees and beach just outside the small restaurant were merely scenery. The real proof of an exotic India was spread on a table inside.

Here was a meal that blew a refreshing tropical breeze through a first-time visitor's notions of Indian food. Served from a long, green banana leaf were coconut-milk-drenched vegetable curries, fish fillets dark with spices, a mound of red-tipped rice, stuffed okra and a small pile of mango pickle.

A tourist expecting the same Indian food found in so many restaurants in the West is in for a surprise.

The food of southern India, especially here in the state of Kerala (the strip of land curving along India's southwest coastline), delivers a more bountiful mix of fish and vegetables and more heat and intensity than most other Indian regions.

``This is hot! Not what you are used to, is it?'' Kochi businessman Sibi Thomas said approvingly as he helped himself to spicy green beans. ``That is how we eat here.''

A few meals in Kerala are enough to clear the air: One realizes there is no such thing as ``Indian food.'' The vastness of this country and the variety of its landscape make the idea of one definitive style of cooking impossible. Yet most American diners have been exposed mainly to the fare of northern India, with its buttery sauces, oven-puffed wheat breads and rich roasted meats that would have as much place in southern India as a bowl of beef stew on a Miami beach.

Kerala is too bright and tropical to handle such heaviness. It is a region of coconuts, chili peppers and spices, splashed with the vivid colors of fresh pineapple, mango and banana. Fish and vegetables, not red meat, are mainstays. The result is a lightness that makes sense in a sultry tropical climate.

Wonderful meals can be found in tiny restaurants facing the Lakshadweep Sea to the west or in elegant dining rooms in the coastal cities of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Plantation cooks in the western Cardamom Hills bring the same lightness to their tables, enhanced with the spices -- pepper, cardamom, ginger -- that grow on their property.

Rice forms the base for numerous griddle cakes and dumplings that take the place of oven-baked wheat breads eaten elsewhere. When the grain is served plain, Keralans prefer a reddish-brown parboiled rice with an earthy flavor, so different from the long-grain basmati used in the north.

``The food across India is a reflection of the geography,'' said Maya Kaimal, author of ``Savoring the Spice Coast of India'' (HarperCollins, $30).

``The climate changes so dramatically,'' said the New York author, who frequently visits her extended family in Kerala.

``In the south are lots of coconuts and black pepper and an unbelievable amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. They use a lot of these fresh chilies and fresh curry leaves and tamarind, so you get a spicy and sour cuisine that is quite different from the rest of India.

``Even to Indians sometimes the foods are acquired tastes.''

The way spices are prepared can be different, too, Kaimal said. In the north, spices tend to be roasted, lending a toasty depth to the food, but southern cooks are more likely to fry their spices in oil before adding them to recipes.

Kerala's cuisine has many influences. For centuries, its coastal cities drew Arabs and Europeans who came to trade spices, ivory and gems. Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish settlers brought their cooking styles to the region. The long coastline and the many lakes guaranteed a place on the menu for seafood.

Kerala also became a center of Ayurvedic medicine, which carefully regiments foods depending on body type.

Very little about the practice of dining in southern India is simple, but balance and variety are essential at every meal, according to Vijayan Aravind, chef on a chartered houseboat that cruises the inland waterways of Kerala.

From his impossibly small kitchen, Aravind brought forth bowls of spiced okra; chopped cabbage with green chilies and onion topped with shredded coconut; a sizzling stew of curried tomatoes; green beans and peas tossed with tamarind; and a small platter of fried fish. Steamed rice helped cool the fiery flavors, as did the juicy slices of watermelon that followed.

Bowls of spicy chutney, pickles and dal (curried split peas or lentils) added more layers of flavor and heat.

``You must eat all of these things,'' the chef insisted. ``There must be balance in the meal with vegetable and fruits and rice. You get strength from the fish.''

Beyond such culinary bookkeeping is the simple truth of hospitality in southern Indian life, said Alamelu Vairavan, author (with Patricia Marquardt) of ``Art of South Indian Cooking'' (Hippocrene Books, out of print).

``Any time you are visiting someone, if it is close to any meal time, they won't let you leave without eating something,'' she said.

Between bites of curried lentils, between sniffles from red chilies, between mops of the brow, the excitement of this kind of cooking becomes apparent.

It is a style that is firmly grounded in ancient tradition, but it appeals to modern tastes. This is the food of India's famous Spice Coast: a taste of a whole other world.






32 1-ounce ice cubes

3 small bunches spearmint

1 cup sugar

2 1/4 cups filtered or spring water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Wash and dry spearmint, then cut leaves and stems into fine chiffonade.

Place sugar and water in heavy medium saucepan, cover, and bring to full boil. When all the sugar has melted, remove pan from heat. Add mint, cover pan and steep 30 minutes.

Stir lemon juice into syrup. Pour syrup through fine strainer into large glass measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract liquid. There should be about 2 1/2 cups syrup. Discard solids.

Pour syrup carefully into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.

Remove cubes from trays and transfer to plastic container with lid.

Ice cubes will hold two weeks in freezer. Drop into iced tea, sparkling water or bourbon, stir briskly and serve.

For ginger ice cubes: Cut 2 ounces of fresh ginger into inch-long pieces and pulse in food processor until fine. Follow recipe, but infuse for only 5 minutes. Plop the cubes into hibiscus or green tea, tart lemonade or bourbon.

For lemon-grass ice cubes: Cut one 3-ounce stalk lemon grass into 1/2-inch lengths. Remove zest (peel only, no pith) from 3 whole lemons.

Pulse lemon grass and zest together in food processor until fine.

Follow recipe. Stir cubes into vodka, tequila or yellow Lillet.


Serves 4

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, divided use

8 cloves garlic

4 fresh green serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded

1 piece (2 inches) ginger root, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or 1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

4 skinless halibut, mahi mahi or swordfish fillets, about 6 ounces each

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup shredded fresh coconut

Place onions, 2 tablespoons cilantro, garlic, chilies, ginger, tamarind and salt in a food processor; pulse to mince vegetables. Rub mixture on both sides of the fish. Cover fish and refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook fish with its marinade until fish browns on one side, 4 minutes. Turn fish, top with coconut. Cook until other side is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.


3 cups strawberries

3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries

3 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/3 cup lemon juice

Crush strawberries and blueberries. Place berries, sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Stir constantly. Reduce heat and stir frequently. Boil for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and skim. Pour into hot 1/2 pint jars. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Note: To reduce calories in baked goods, substitute equal amount of applesauce for oil or shortening. If the recipe calls for butter substitute an equal amount of applesauce and 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring per half cup or less of fat.


Serves 4


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chutney

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon peels

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 cups cooked chicken, diced

1 cup celery, sliced

1/4 cup red onions, chopped

1 1/2 pints strawberries, stemmed

4 lettuce leaves

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

In large bowl mix together mayonnaise, chutney, lemon juice and peel, salt, and curry powder. Add chicken, celery and onion; toss, cover and chill. Just before serving, slice 1 pint of the strawberries; gently toss with chicken mixture. Line platter or individual serving plates with lettuce. Mound chicken mixture on lettuce. Garnish with whole strawberries and mint.

To lower the fat content of this recipe, use light or fat-free mayonnaise.

Source: California Strawberry Advisory Board


credit for this goes to lindamaupin@webtv.net I developed this

incredible substitute for Slim-fast that is both completely sugar free and

also economical. This works exceptionally well for those on higher protein

diets and are diabetic/hypoglycemic.

6 oz water

2 T cream (optional)

2 T protein powder (0 carb)

4 packets sugar substitute

2 T baking cocoa


Blend all ingredients except for the ice until smooth. Add ice to your

liking. NOTE: Adding a full tray of ice will turn this into the

consistency of soft ice cream that you eat with a spoon! FABULOUS!

Also for my 6 year old on ADHD meds that cut her appetite to zilch.

I take Nestle's Instant cocoa enough for 2 cups, add a dollop of ice cream,

a small banana and a scoop of MLO brand vanilla protein powder. I get this

at our local Safeway in the body building section. Also

fruit flavored yogurt

cottage cheese

Whir till smooth, dump into a pretty dessert dish and eat with a spoon.


I love roast lamb, but I must confess that the leftovers present more of challenge than a piece of roast beef does. A tasty alternative to shepherd's pie, this salad is a delicious use of leftover lamb. If the lamb has been charcoal grilled, cut away any blackened areas before cubing it.

2 pounds Red Bliss or red new potatoes

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

1 cup (more or less) cubed, well-trimmed roast lamb (1/2-inch cubes)



2 tablespoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled

(see note)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf or curly-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cover the potatoes with cold water, bring to the boil, and boil gently until done, about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Do not overcook! Test for doneness with the tip of a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander.

When cool enough to handle, peel if desired, then cut into 1/2-inch thick cubes (The cubes of potato and lamb should be the same size.) Place in a large bowl, and sprinkle with the vinegar. Add the lamb.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, stir together the shallot, tarragon, parsley, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until an emulsion forms.

Pour the dressing over the potato-lamb mixture and mix thoroughly but gently. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Note: If you do not care for the slightly sharp taste of tarragon, you may substitute fresh mint for it. Do not use dried mint, however, as it has a dull flavor. If you are using fresh mint, use cider vinegar instead of the tarragon vinegar in the same amount. Visit http://www.barbaralauterbach.com www.chef2chef.net


Makes 2 servings

2 large baking potatoes

1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed

1 (6-ounce) can low-sodium chunk white tuna

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

Wash potatoes and stab 'em with a fork a few times. Nuke them on high for 8 minutes. Dump the broccoli in a bowl and nuke it for 4 minutes. Mix in the tuna. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh. Plop 1/2 of the tuna-broccoli mixture onto each spud. Sprinkle each with 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the chili powder. Nuke on high for 1 1/2 minutes.



from: Yankee Hill Country Cooking; Heirloom Recipes from Rural Kitchens

Adapted for modern kitchens by Beatrice Vaughan copyright 1963 Stephen

Green Press, Brattleboro, Vermont

1 Baked Pie Shell

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar for meringue

Separate eggs and beat yolks. Cream butter and sugar, then beat in egg yolks. Mix flour with spices and salt and add to previous mixture with the water and vinegar. Cook over hot water until thick, stirring constantly. Pour into baked pie shell and top with meringue, which has been made with the egg whites stiffly beaten with the 1/4 cup sugar. Brown in 325 oven for 15 minutes.


from: Recipes From America's Restored Villages by Jean Anderson

copyright 1975

(the acknowledgements in this book credit the Vinegar Pie from Pioneer Cook

Book, compiled and edited by Charlotte Javors, published by The Harold Warp

pioneer Village, Copyright 1968 Harold Warp Pioneer Village, Minden,


Her introductory remarks to this recipe:

"Few covered wagons traveled without a supply of vinegar, for to pioneer women it was as important as firewood and water. They used it to scrub metal pots, to shine mirrors and glass, to treat sore throats (as a gargle), to tenderize sinewy meats (either by marinating or simmering them in water acidulated with vinegar), to pickle fruits and vegetables, to minimize the strong cooking odors of cabbage and onions. They even used it to make a mock lemon pie, lemons being as scarce and valuable on the prairies as gold. Vinegar pie is today a Nebraska classic, and it does taste surprisingly like lemon pie."

Makes an 8-inch pie

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/3 cup melted butter

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 unbaked 8-inch pie shell

In a medium-size mixing bowl, blend together sugar, flour, and mace until no lumps of flour remain. Stir in water, vinegar, melted butter, and eggs and beat just enough to mix. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake in a moderate oven (350) 50 to 55 minutes until filling is puffed and lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before cutting (the filling will fall slightly and thicken to the consistency of custard). same book as above (Restored Villages)


Makes 10 muffins

8 oz plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

2 oz ground almonds

6 oz sugar

1 egg

1/2 pint buttermilk

2 oz melted butter

8 oz Blueberries

1/2 oz chopped almonds

plus a 12-hole muffin tin, and paper muffin cases.

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a bowl and stir in the ground almonds and sugar. Put the egg, butter milk and melted butter into a second bowl

and beat well. Stir into the dry ingredients to make a smoother batter.

2. Fold in the Heritage Coast Blueberries, then spoon the mixture into 10 of the muffin cases in the muffin tray until three-quarters full. Scatter with the chopped almonds and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C/400F or Gas 6 for about 18-20 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on a wire rack and serve warm.


Makes 4 servings

Cooked white beans and tuna canned in olive oil is a familiar Italian dish. The addition of zucchini lightens the salad. For a wonderful hot-weather dinner, serve with French bread and chilled white wine. -- Andrea Chesman

3 cups quartered and sliced zucchini

3 cups canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 6- to 7-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil (preferably imported from Italy),


1/2 sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia), thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons capers (divided)

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini and blanch for 1 minute, until barely tender-crisp. Drain, plunge into cold water to stop the cooking; drain again and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, beans, tuna, onion, parsley and 2 tablespoons of the capers. Toss gently to mix.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Season very generously with salt and pepper.

Arrange a bed of greens on a large serving platter or individual serving plates. Mound the bean salad on top. Arrange tomatoes around the beans. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of capers and serve. -- From "The Classic Zucchini Cookbook" by Andrea Chesman


12 Servings

2 Tablespoons Butter Or Margarine

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Cup Chopped Onion <Mix Red & White Or Yellow>

2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic

2 Pounds, 5 Cups, Zucchini, Scrubbed, Not Peeled, Shredded Coarse

1 Tablespoon Savory Garlic Herb Dry Soup <Lipton>

2 1/2 Cups Half & Half

1/2 Cup Uncooked Long Grain White Rice

1 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

4 Oz. Goat Or Cream Cheese, Softened

1 Cup Prosciutto, Finely Chopped & Rinsed

Pepper To Taste Do Not Add Any Salt

Heat oven to 425. Pam spray a shallow 2 qt baking dish.

In a large skillet heat butter and olive oil. Add onion, cook over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and zucchini, increase heat to medium high and stir 5 minutes until zucchini has released some of its juices. Sprinkle w/the dry soup and stir 1 minute longer until soup is absorbed. Stir in cream, rice, 3/4 cup of Parmesan, goat or cream cheese, pepper to taste. Stir in Prosciutto. Pour into prepared dish, sprinkle remaining 1/2 Parmesan over top. Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 10 or 15 minutes to allow custard to set.

The baked and cooled casserole can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen. Thaw and bring to room temp. Reheat covered, in 375 oven for 15 minutes. Good hot or room temp.


Makes 9 pints

1/3 cup pickling salt

12 cups coarsely ground zucchini (about 12 medium)

2 coarsely ground green bell peppers

2 chopped red bell peppers

4 cups coarsely ground onions

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 cups cider vinegar or white vinegar

41/2 cups granulated sugar

In large enamel or stainless steel pot, mix pickling salt into zucchini, green and red peppers, and onions. Let stand overnight. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Meanwhile, wash 9 pint jars and fill with hot water until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

Mix together turmeric, curry powder, celery seeds, cornstarch, pepper, vinegar and sugar; add to vegetables. Boil 20 minutes.

Ladle hot relish into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet). -- Adapted from "The Zucchini Cookbook" by Paula Simmons



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